Dance – Music – Lyric
Abruck für Ute (2007) | Speed (2007)
Dance: Christine Brunel
Music: Scott Roller
Speed addresses the question of velocity – its duration and its power.
"I experience fastness as a painful loss. Slowness is for me the longing for that which has been lost, for the time that one has not taken, for that which one has not received", quotes Christine Brunel.
The dance follows its own insistent rhythm. The exploration of space and movement leads inevitably to an impressive sense of authenticity. Christine Brunel expresses the beauty of the simple. Focused of that which is essential, she is fascinated by and attracted to limitation. Her dancing unites strength and fragility and shows how delicate a balance, how fine or powerful a movement can be.
Taking the dance as the departure point, Scott Roller developed the music for Speed, a composition for Live-Cello and pre-recorded material made only from cello sounds. It is a work of reduced, precisely set means. The music is characterized by long arching forms which surround the dance while leaving it space.
The poetry which is used was written by the US American poet Robert Lax (1915–2000), who loved "the simple, modest, the un-sought after, that which is free of being overloaded".
The press wrotes:
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 04. Dezember 2007
(...) Brunel dances a plea for slowness; true enjoyment only comes to those who take their time. Brunel's movements are sparse, the dancer and choreographer focuses (...) on exploring time and space. This intense investigation shows every time her foot touches the ground, in each of her small or sweeping arm movements.
Composer and cello player Scott Roller adapts his playing to this deliberate reduction, varying his rich repertoire from long arcs through atonal sounds to jazz notes. Roller picks and plays his strings, taps on his instrument and uses even its bridge and sounding board to create sound (...)
The premiere of Speed is preceded by a performance of Abdruck (Imprint). In this piece, Christine Brunel moves on a two-metre-wide grey strip drawn across the white surface according to the golden section. She explores the ground beneath her, first in shoes, then in socks and later in her bare feet. She seems to follow some footsteps, taking possession of the space by dancing. On this night, Christine Brunel leaves her very own, sometimes seemingly fragile, sometimes powerful imprint.
While suggesting a celebration, it couldn't be farther from either glamorous bang or contrived ceremony. Christine Brunel's dancing celebrates something, but it's neither herself, nor emotions, nor dance as such, nor the theatre space. What she does looks so simple, so clear that one tends to look half through her. Clarity of form, repetitions, hardly an unequivocal gesture. Perhaps it is just what it is: movement.
In the double performance Speed, cello player Scott Roller sits with her on the dance carpet (...) Roller caresses, scrapes, picks, taps and plays his cello; his sounds always suggesting silence, balancing on the edge of inaudibility. Christine Brunel's dancing suits them well because she, too, is surrounded by silence.
In Abdruck she moves back and forth on a grey strip of dance floor about as wide as a catwalk. A walk that can take decades or seconds: lifting her foot as if she was climbing over something, setting it down, arriving. Another step. Another. (…) The distance which seems so limited could go on forever.
Speed is accompanied by the off voice of Robert Lax, poet of marvellously terse words about the sea and the sand and the balancing act of existence. This time, Christine Brunel starts out on a stool. She ties a scarf over her eyes. We bring the Garden of Eden to the children who have lost the dream of home, the poem goes, while she rounds her arms to form an empty embrace in front of her body (...)
Later she struggles forward step by step as if walking against sea-wind, arms spread wide. Then her feet fall forward, something walks within her, getting faster, her legs crossing playfully, tiny skips, half on pointe. It's dance. Whether in dream or reality is irrelevant. Perhaps they have become one on this path whose existence is quietly celebrated by these steps.
Premiered on December 2nd, 2007
Artistic Direction: Christine Brunel
Cello and Voice: Christine Brunel
Costume Design Abdruck: Andrea Stanisci
Costume Design Speed: Christine Brunel
Stage Design: Christine Brunel
Light Design. Reinhard Hubert
Assistance: Martina Candelo
Dramaturgy: Tonja Wiebracht
SPEED ist eine Produktion der BRUNEL.TANZ.CIE
Ministerpräsidenten des Landes NRW
Kulturbüro der Stadt Essen
Bettina + Christian Böhm
In collaboration with Maschinenhaus Essen